Flood recovery news update 30 July
Council have been assessing the volume of debris on beaches using drone footage.
There’s a significant amount of wood and no quick or easy solution to clean-up and dispose of it without impacting further on the environment.
We’re looking at prioritising clean-up of Tolaga Bay, Kaiaua and Gisborne beaches, focusing on popular well-used areas in time for summer.
Considerable resources would be required if there was an option to transport it elsewhere. In 2015 around 45,000 cubic metres of wood washed up on Waikanae Beach after the storm, it cost around $100k to clean up and dispose. The amount of debris we’re looking at now is likely to be hundreds of thousands of cubic meters.
Burning is an option for some of the wood, but given the scale of debris, it’s unlikely we can burn all of it. Burning driftwood releases toxins – namely dioxins – as the wood is infused by salt.
We’re considering the option of shredding wood into mulch. Council and Uawanui are planning to do a trial to get an idea of how much time and cost would be involved.
We expect the total clean-up and disposal to continue over a number of months into next year depending on affordability.
Drone footage is also being analysed to determine where slash and debris has accumulated in upper catchments. We’re assessing the risk of further mobilisation of debris from forests.
Hydrology data has also revealed the flood event in Tolaga Bay (3-4June) was recorded as a one in 5.7year event which equates to an 18 percent chance that a flood of that size could happen every year.
In comparison, the water levels in the Waipaoa River at Te Karaka over 11-12 June were the second highest on record.
River levels in the Waihora, Mangatu and upper Waipaoa rivers were all exceedingly high and combined to form a very significant, one in 70-year event.
We advise residents in rural areas to have septic tanks checked and cleaned out properly if they’ve been affected by flood water or silt.
Enhanced taskforce green crews started clean-up work on three properties last week with really positive feedback from property owners.
People that have been affected by the floods on the Coast, Poverty Bay Flats, Te Karaka and surrounding areas need to register for taskforce assistance by contacting:
David Scott, Rural Recovery Coordinator on 027 211 9941 or (06) 8684840 or email email@example.com
Patrick Willock, Agriculture Recovery Facilitator 021 240 6534 or (06) 867 6902 or email firstname.lastname@example.org